Wednesday, November 30, 2016

holiday decorating

Spent yesterday putting up Christmas lights and helping my dad do his at his house.  Both houses look pretty good, me thinks.  Nothing really fancy. I like to used the trees and shrubs in a yard and rarely run lights along the eves of a building.  I'm not really into little elves dancing around or nativity scenes, either.  Maybe I keep things too simple, but it's my house and I'll do it the way I want.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Jury Duty continued

Well, I still don't know what it's like to be on a jury.  We were told they don't need us and we have to come back next month and try again. At least you can call in and see if they need you before driving downtown.

Random thoughts:

Why do they think our time is valueless?  They only pay $12 a day.  That's a day, amigos, not an hour.  I guess we may get some mileage as well, but they're kind of vague on that.  

If they had comely lasses who go around and give neck rubs that would make it a lot more popular--at least with me.   A golden retriever to play ball with would be nice.  But money would do it.  Self employed people like truck drivers or plumbers lose a lot of money going in  to jury duty. Until they actually fairly compensate people for their time, people are not going to want to do this. I doubt anyone cares.  Free parking doesn't exist in downtown Tucson. Free parking would help.  Or they could send bus vouchers.  

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Civic Duty

I'm scheduled to report for jury duty on Monday.  People have been asking me "Can you get out of it?"  Of course I could get out of it. I don't want to.  Back in Colorado I used to get jury notices every year like clockwork. I would simply throw them away. Nothing ever happened.  No one came to arrest me. I didn't get any letters from the court. Absolutely nothing happened.  

But, the down side is, if I were on trial, I wouldn't want everyone thumbing their nose at the jury system.  So  I have decided to report and if I am placed on a jury to do whatever it is juries do. I'll post about it next week if anything comes of it.

Now, as for getting out. That's not hard.  If you're placed on a panel, just tell the judge he must be guilty or he wouldn't be sitting there. They would have no choice but to get rid of you on bias. I once knew someone who showed up with an aluminum foil helmet to protect himself from aliens probing his mind. They knew it was a scam, but what are they going to do?  Back before they banned smoking my dad just went and got a doctor's letter that the cigarette smoke was making him sick--and was a true reason they couldn't argue about.

Stay tuned.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Senior Discount

I got a senior discount this morning at breakfast.  I find that depressing.  Most people are thrilled at getting discounts.  Thing is, I'm not a senior according to the menu.  That's what's depressing. And I certainly didn't ask for it.  

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Still Sort of Non Commercial

One thing I like about Thanksgiving is it's sort of non commercial.  True, it's centered around a large meal, but having a meal with friends and family doesn't seem commercial like the crass commercialism of Christmas. They had Christmas decorations up well before Halloween.  That's perverse.  So, the fact you don't have to put up lights on your house or wrap gifts, I view as a good thing.  

So, when the Great Turkey comes by your house with bags of cranberries and boxes of stuffing, give him a "Howdy Hi Ho" and enjoy your meal.  

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Are We Thankful Yet?

This past year has been a year of tremendous change.  I sold my house in Colorado and moved to Arizona. I even planted two ash trees in my new yard.  I lived in a condo before and did not really have a yard.

Sunday, November 20, 2016


Well, tonight is another episode of the Walking Dead.  Some of the front desk girls at my last hotel watched it.  No one I hang out with watches it. No one I'm related to watches it.  This is like the absolute best episodic horror program ever made.  When I see people who aren't watching it I want to shout "What's wrong with you? Why aren't you watching?"  But, that's pointless.  People don't have to watch the show. 

It's so darned good, though.  

Saturday, November 19, 2016

In light of recent events

I've never been to the White House.  In light of recent events, I find myself wondering if they have a gift shop.  If not, I'm sure they will soon have one selling jewelry and the new president's books and such.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Feeling gypped

When I was a young lad they would have some guy at halftime fly from one end of a football field to the other.  Big deal.  But, people were dullards back then and everyone oohed and awed. 

I also remember my mom took me down to the local excuse for a shopping center and they were supposed to have robots.  And they had big shiny gold and silver robots.  Only–they were on wires and not wireless and I followed the wires to some van and the guy in the van was trying to talk to us kids, but the robots weren’t working. They just stood there.  And that was that.

And we were told by knowledgeable people when we grew up we’d all get around in flying saucers and cars would be obsolete. In fact, we’d soon by living a lot like the Jetsons they would tell us. We'd have talking robots to prepare our meals and do laundry whilst everyone zoomed to work in comfortable flying saucers.  

And my math teacher said we’d all be on the metric system by 1984.

And I’m still waiting for the factory to deliver my flying saucer. Damn, do I feel gypped.  None of this stuff ever happened.  Oh, the robot part sort of did. They have robots in factories making refrigerators and cars and stuff.  But a robot to serve me, that ain’t happening.  And don't get me started on the metric system. 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Public poop

Every now and then I've had to use public restrooms.  Over time I've noticed trends with chain companies and how clean their public restrooms are.  I realize this is simply my opinion and not a scientific sampling. Best to worst.  I just note my experience has been Costco does a magnificent job of consistent cleanliness at all hours based on my experience. Don't write to me if you disagree.

Hyatt Regency San Francisco                    [best]
Olive Garden
Denver International Airport
Denver City & County Building
McDonalds                                              [uhm, not so much]

Monday, November 14, 2016

Nice review ... really nice

Stumbled upon a rather nice review of my sf novel Bonded Agent at SF Reader. I placed a link below.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Holding over

Holding over from Halloween were four solar powered mini jack o'lanterns. They're sitting in my back yard glowing as I write this. Each one is about the size of  medium onion.  They come on at dusk and burn until midnight or so. They were cheap--only a buck each.  I wonder how long they'll last.  I've had very erratic results with solar yard lighting. Some of it performed well whilst a lot of it did not.  

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Lots of Good stuff

Got a great deal on getting my carpets cleaned.

Got a refund when I was overcharged at doctor's office.

Found the tea I like at the store.

And the day is only half over.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Well, at least the election's over

Thank God the election is over.  This isn't a political blog, but I don't see why the Brits can do an entire election cycle in about two months and it takes us nearly two years.  Since I'm sure Trump will declare martial law if he doesn't think he can get re-elected, this will likely be the last open election for many years, just as the Roman Senate became dysfunctional and gave way to the nutty emperors. From my point of view we are heading down that same path and the republic as we knew it is gone. At least we won't have to watch these hideous campaign commercials any more. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Election phacts?

Every election year I hear reporters mention John Kennedy was the youngest president. Not so.  I guess it depends on how you word it.  John F. Kennedy is the youngest-ever elected president at 43. However, Theodore Roosevelt is the youngest person to ever become president. He was 42 when he succeeded to the presidency, following the assassination of McKinley

I've heard JFK incorrectly described as the youngest president three times today.  

Sunday, November 6, 2016


A few days ago some woman with a handheld device of some sort came up to me outside the library. "What's your address?"

"Excuse me?" That a seemed a bit forward from someone I'd never met.

"I can  give you your polling place."

Ah.  "I've already voted."

"Instead of offering me some weekend tryst she just walked off to the next guy coming by.

Rather rude, I thought.

The weekend tryst part?  Well, she was kind of cute.  I never asked for a weekend tryst.  I never expected to get get one.

I like early voting.  Why I vote early is simple. I hate standing in lines.   Election day lines in many places are horrible.  I just look at all those people and smile.  

Friday, November 4, 2016

Best Laid Plans

I've had to cancel yet another anthology for lack of interest.  I wanted to do one on train stories, called All Aboard. I only got eight story submissions and only two of those were publishable. It's hard to get story submissions.